There are so many benefits to hiking, both mentally and physically. Physically, walking a trail is great exercise, promoting strong muscles and bones, improving your sense of balance, and decreasing your risk of heart and respiratory problems. Mentally, being surrounded by nature, even for short periods of time, can reduce stress, calm anxiety, and help to relieve and reduce depression. Lace up those boots, and begin your journey by putting one foot in front of another on any path you choose. Pick a trail!
-Bald Rock Trail 0.3 mi
There are 2 paths that lead out to Bald Rock Outlook, a boardwalk and a dirt trail on either side of the boardwalk. We invite all to bask in the beauty of nature at Bald Rock Outlook.
-Pulpit Rock Trail 0.3 mi
This trail has some steep terrain, but it takes you to a beautiful scenic outlook. Pulpit Rock is a popular rappelling area. Rappelling/rock climbing is only permissible in the park with a permit. For more information or to obtain a permit, go to the Cheaha State Park Country Store.
-Mountain Laurel Trail 1.4 mi
The Mountain Laurel Trail wanders along a streambank in a beautiful laurel thicket out to Rock Garden Outlook. This outlook showcases the beauty of Talladega National Forest and has very few man-made structures within view.
Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Air Bathing aka Taking in the Forest) Wellness Trail
Location: Mountain Laurel Trail
Forest immersion and ecotherapy with relaxation prompts make this trail a mindful experience that focuses on celebrating the power of nature through interactions such as birdsong, water patterns, deep breathing, meditation, observation of colors and textures, and the search for peace. Shinrin yoku is an ancient practice of allowing the forest atmosphere to improve mental and physical relaxation and well being. This “five sense” experience nurtures heart centered relationships between you and the more than human world of nature. Research has proven that health benefits result from spending time surrounded by trees including reduced stress, lower blood pressure, improved mood, amplified focus, and increased energy.
-Lake Trail 1.0 mi
The Lake Trail connects Cheaha Lake to Rock Garden. This trail is very steep and rugged. It is a fun and challenging trail, but make sure you have proper footwear for tackling this trail. The trail itself is only a mile long, but it is a very steep descent (or ascent!) of 1000 feet elevation difference.
-Leave No Trace Bigfoot Trail 0.5 mi
The Leave No Trace Bigfoot Challenge Trail connects the CSP Motel to the highest point in Alabama. As you climb to the highest point, you have a chance to learn how to help us take care of the woods. There are LNT teaching signs scattered along the trail. There are also Bigfoot Cutouts scattered along the trail. How many Bigfoot will you see?
Tim Haney Sensory Trail 0.5 mi
Location: Leave No Trace Bigfoot Trail
Like the amazing man for which it is named, this trail will inspire thousands of park guests to listen, smell, look, touch, and explore the uniqueness of the Cheaha State Park landscape. As John Burroughs penned, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
-Fisherman's Trail 0.6 mi
The Fisherman’s Trail wraps around Cheaha Lake. This is a nice trail for finding the right fishing hole, exploring the park, or enveloping yourself in nature.
Park trail maps are sold for $2.00 in the Mountain Store.
There are two seasonal waterfalls inside the state park boundary:
CCC Reservoir Falls (manmade Cheaha Quartzite dam)
Laurel Falls which flows off the vista at the overlook at the end of Laurel Trail
Park entrance fee required (Veterans Free)
There are three waterfalls located just a short distance from the park in the Talladega National Forest.
There may be a USFS parking fee to access these trails. Stop by Cheaha Country Store for a map.
Cheaha Falls (Access from the Turnip Seed Parking Area...hike down Chinnabee Silent Trail)
High Falls (a three-tiered waterfall reached by a moderately difficult trail and accessible by a rock wall
Devil's Den (Access from the Lake Chinnabee Recreation Area-Parking lot closed during winter) USFS Parking Fee Required $3.00
Watch our EVENTS Calendar for annual waterfall hikes and tours.
-Wear appropriate clothes/ footwear for the season.
-Pack water and snacks in your day pack.
-Stay on the trail.
-The trails close when the sun sets, so make sure you give yourself enough time to finish your hike.
-Watch your step. There are many rocks, roots, and stumps that line our mountainous terrain.
-Have fun exploring the beauty of Cheaha State Park!
Leave No Trace Wilderness Ethics
Once upon a time this area was so covered with trees that a man could walk for days through a forest before seeing sunlight. Nature provides resources for us to use and survive, but it is also the home for countless animals and plants.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. “- John Muir
Enjoy the scenic wild spirit of Cheaha, but make sure to leave some wild for others to enjoy!
The 7 Leave No Trace Wilderness Ethics
-Plan Ahead and Prepare
-Travel and Camp on
-Dispose of Waste Properly
-Leave What You Find
-Minimize Campfire Impacts
-Be Considerate of Other Visitors
If your child loves nature, Cheaha is the perfect place for your next birthday celebration.
Use the ADCNR Interactive Map to learn more about the Alabama State Parks.
Use this park map to help you make your plans.